Your Cruise & Stay holiday begins with three nights in the bustling metropolis of Athens, where a treasure trove of ancient and modern Greece lies just within walking distance of your five-star hotel. A day’s excursion to the monasteries of Meteora affords breathtaking views of this magical archaeological site. Next, you’ll sail across the Aegean and Mediterranean, visiting an array of vibrant ports and historical harbours aboard the intimate Seabourn Encore.
Suite from £6,299pp
Fly from the UK to Athens.
On arrival, take your private transfer to your five-star hotel for a three-night stay.
Meteora Monasteries full-day tour
This magical Meteora tour is perfect for first-time visitors who want to make the most of their time near these magnificent rock structures. Opting for a private tour means you won’t have to wait around for other members of your party, and you can customize the tour based on your needs. See all six monasteries in Meteora and have a chance to enter some of them. You’ll learn local secrets and travel comfortably in an air-conditioned vehicle.
Take your private transfer to the port and embark Seabourn Encore for your 14-night cruise. Depart Athens.
Naxos is a Greek island in the South Aegean, the largest of the Cyclades island group. Its fertile landscape spans mountain villages, ancient ruins and long stretches of beach. The namesake capital (also called Hora or Chora) is a port town filled with whitewashed, cube-shaped houses and medieval Venetian mansions. Kastro, a hilltop castle dating to the 13th century, houses an archaeological museum.
The magnificent Aegean coast features no shortage of appealing ports of call, and Izmir is a fine example thereof. The birthplace of Homer has grown into a thriving metropolis, filled with fine hotels along its sweeping bay. A fine Archaeology Museum and Ethnography Museum house a multitude of treasures and exhibits, while nearby resorts provide distractions of another sort. Earthquakes and fires over the centuries have obliterated most of ancient Smyrna, as it was once known, but remnants of the 4th-century fort atop Mt. Pagos still provide excellent views of the city and Gulf of Izmir.
Just 3 nautical miles from the coast of Asia Minor, Kos is an underappreciated gem of an island bedecked with sparkling beaches and picturesque villages. Known for its rich vegetation and temperate climate, Kos is also rich in history, featuring numerous sites of archaeological significance, and is known for being the birthplace of Hippocrates, the father of medicine. Enjoy the beautiful weather, stunning views, and delicious local cuisine.
Limassol on Cyprus’ south coast is the island’s largest seaside resort. It meanders for ten miles along the coast with the Troodos Mountains providing a magnificent backdrop. Sunshine, blue sky and beaches are the criteria that attract scores of vacationers each year. The more adventurous traveler, too, finds worthwhile attractions, such as medieval castles, remote mountain villages, archaeological sites dating back to 7,000 B.C., and inviting cedar forests, orange groves and vineyards. Although the easternmost island of the Mediterranean, eastern culture is augmented by a large dose of European. Rome and Byzantium, the Crusaders and the Venetians, the Turks and the British have all left their traces. Since the Middle Ages, when the Crusaders held Cyprus under Richard the Lionhearted, Limassol has been known to traders for its wine and sugar cane. Today, the island’s second largest city is the hub of its wine-making industry and an important commercial center.
Situated on the slopes of Mount Carmel, along one of the most beautiful bays on the Mediterranean coast, Haifa is Israel’s primary port. It also serves as an important gateway to the biblical and historical sites of this sacred land. Although the origin of Haifa is obscure, its name appears for the first time in the 3rd century A.D. in Talmudic literature. Over the years, Crusaders, Arabs, Turks and the British occupied the city. Today, this bustling city possesses the nation’s largest industries, several important museums and the respected Haifa Technical Institute. It is also the world center of the Baha’i faith, symbolized by a beautiful gold-domed shrine.
The largest port in Israel, Ashdod is a gateway to Jerusalem, the 5,000-year-old walled city that is considered sacred to more than a third of the people on Earth. Numerous sites exist nearby, including the Jewish sacred Western Wall, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre said to be the site of Calvary and to contain a piece of the true cross.
Meander along the seaside promenade, or dip your toes in the Dead Sea waters, long known for their health benefits. Visit the Bar-Gera Museum to view a collection of art by artists who were either banned or persecuted by the Nazis and other fascist governments. The Yad Vashem Memorial Museum is dedicated to the six million Jews who
lost their lives during the Holocaust.
Surrounded on three sides by snow-capped mountains, Antalya is situated on a vast fertile plain that was known in antiquity as Pamphylia. Here the Toros Mountains, blanketed by green forests, sweep down the rocky headlands to isolated coves of clear turquoise water. The stunning scenery and mild climate have made Antalya a principal resort on the “Turquoise Coast” of Turkey sometimes referred to as the “Turkish Riviera.”
Full of ancient sites, the area was once part of empires controlled by the Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders, Seljuks, Cypriots and Ottomans. Many of the Mediterranean world’s best-preserved ancient ruins are east of Antalya, the most spectacular of which are Perge and Aspendos.
The city itself has much to offer the visitor who wishes not to venture far afield. The Kaleici, the historic quarter, protected from modern development and closed to cars, is a perfect place to discover the city’s historic past. The old Roman Harbor is now a yacht marina and the winding streets of the picturesque Old Quarter leads you past quaint wooden houses, cafes, shops and the ruins and monuments of bygone eras.
Marmaris is situated on a marvelous natural harbor where Lord Nelson organized his fleet for the attack on the French at Abukir in 1789. The once sleepy fishing village has 10,000 permanent residents but its numbers swell in the summer months when Turkey’s rich and famous come for holidays. Tucked into the recesses of the bay, surrounded by pine-clad mountains, Marmaris has become Turkey’s largest and most modern yacht harbor. The town is a convenient starting place to visit the ancient Carian city of Kaunos, to venture to the beaches for a lazy day in the sun and sparkling waters nearby, or to enjoy waterfront cafes and the local ambience.
This charming village of white houses climbing up the slopes is beautifully situated on the sparkling Gulf of Mirabello. The attractive Venetian harbor is surrounded by restaurants, outdoor cafes and clusters of shops selling everything from necessities to souvenirs. The ship docks in the center of town, and you are able to wander at will and enjoy the atmosphere of Crete’s foremost resort.
Mylos has all the components of a perfect Greek isle – fantastic rock formations, dozens of beaches from broad strands to secluded slivers, villages of sugar-cube houses, whitewashed windmills, and glowing azure coves. The famous statue of Aphrodite of Mylos, re-named Venus de Milo, was discovered here in 1820. The French Consul, recognizing a great beauty, bought her and gave her to Louis XVIII. Today she resides in the Louvre in Paris, a symbol of the civilization that flourished on this island in centuries past.
Disembark Seabourn Encore and take your private to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
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